I’m pretty sure the overt dangers of life in NY have been well covered by the media. Overblown, even.
The trains don’t even look like this anymore. As a New Yorker, I have and always have had a certain comfort level with the stuff that makes tourists clutch their purses. Yes, I rode the trains at all kinds of hours, even when they still looked like the above photo. Not only rode them, but I’d fall asleep–almost always waking up just as the doors opened at my stop.
Safety tips can be summarized quickly. Look like you know where you’re going, and do so at a reasonable pace. Don’t gawk. Don’t be stupid (flashing cash, jewelry, etc). Flashing boobage is questionable. It’s legal in NY, you can’t be arrested for it, but I think we’ve got a little way to go before it’s safe to be a topless female waiting for the 4 train. And oh yeah, watch out for subway grates when you’re walking down the sidewalk in stilettos.
In Central Park relax, enjoy, and don’t walk through by yourself after dark or before other joggers/bikers/dogwalkers are up and about. Don’t pet the squirrels (nasty and rabid) or feed the pigeons (gross). C’mon, it’s self explanatory. Same rules as NYers. Don’t stare ’em down, keep moving, leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone. Or be prepared to be the crazier one, but that’s another post.
Occasionally you can spot a raccoon in the park. Never heard of one that didn’t have rabies, don’t pet it, or send your dog after it. I saw something in a tree staring down at me last week, I swear it looked like a sloth. Tried to get a photo, but dusk in the park and my camera phone don’t seem to care for each other. Sometimes there are other bizarre animals to be found in there that don’t belong at all, generally because some bozo thought an exotic pet was a good idea when it was cute and little. Then it got big, angry, and tried to eat its owner, so Mr Macho decided to release it into the “wild” of Central Park. Thanks.
Yesterday I learned something new. There’s poison ivy in parts of the park. Not only did I not know that, it never occurred to me. For me, that’s under the category of “things to learn about if I go rural.”
This morning I was walking my beasts. Not even 7AM, just walking down the street, not in the park, and we were accosted by a sparrow. It has to be one of the most bizarre experiences I’ve ever had. This little twit hopped out from under the orange netting of a construction site and chirp chirp cheeped at Little Incredibly Dumb Dog. OK, I figure the thing must be confused, built a nest in the wrong place, I pulled my little fluffball away. Then the thing went after Big Senile Dog. Really?! I can’t tell you how uninterested BSD is in birds, squirrels, etc. I beg him to frighten the pigeons off of the terrace, but if they aren’t in his sunning spot, he just doesn’t give a shit. He kept walking, in search of the ideal poop spot. The sparrow chased after us, twittering and chirping and hopping while Little Incredibly Dumb Dog kept yapping, until the bird got Big Stupid Dog’s attention. He, of course, decides it must be a pre breakfast snack and opens his mouth. I hauled both dogs away as his teeth were about two centimeters from the little morsel, convinced we had come across a rabid sparrow.
I consulted with my good buddy Googles when I got home, it turns out, birds don’t get rabies. Guess it was plain old New Yorkitude.